• When leaders of the world’s seven most powerful nations met, three Africans were invited
• One being president Ramaphosa of South Africa and two others, global civil servants
• Ramaphosa made a strong case for vaccine equality and equity for South Africa and Africa as a whole
There were three Africans represented at the just ended G7 summit that took place in Cornwall in the United Kingdom.
The only African to have made it in person was South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who was invited as a special guest to join deliberations.
The 2021 G7 host, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited leaders of South Africa, India, South Korea, and Australia to join the summit as guests to deepen expertise and experience around the table.
Ramaphosa during his engagements made a strong case for the continent especially in the area of vaccines and the need to waive intellectual rights to allow for easier production of the jabs.
The other two Africans who joined the summit virtually were Director-General of the World Health Organization, WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, and Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The duo have been very important in global conversations give the role their respective bodies play in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tedros delivered opening remarks on day two of the three-day summit (June 12) making a strong case for vaccine availability and accessibility.
“Our short-term targets are to vaccinate at least 10% of the population of every country by September, and at least 40% by the end of the year, as you have seen in the joint proposal by the IMF, WHO, WTO and the World Bank.
“To reach those targets, we need 100 million more doses right now – this month and next month – and 250 million more by September.
“But we must aim higher.”
On her part the WTO chief said she had a productive session with the world leaders and thanked them for recognizing the role of the WTO in solving the coronavirus pandemic.